Category Archives: Dolls

Now a doll fashionista…

Oh yes, that’s me! (Can you hear me giggle?) Well, let me explain.

It started with the idea I would make doll quilts too.

Then I couldn’t resist buying an 18-inch doll. No, I didn’t go for the American Girl, but I bought a similar doll, Journey Girl. Following that were the purchases of several books of patterns for sewing doll clothes to fit her – except her waist is a bit smaller. No problem, I just went shopping for another doll, this one is a Madame Alexander, whose waist more closely resembles the American Girl.

Isn’t she sweet looking?

I’ve decided to open an Etsy store to see if the doll clothes will sell. I’ve had some sales by word-of-mouth already, and I’m looking forward to making this a cottage industry business. At least I hope it pays for the materials and postage!

My Double on Etsy.com

If you’d like to see my Etsy store, “My Double”, please click this link and browse all you want. Please pass the link along to anyone you think may be interested.

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Restricted by the landlord, Inspired by my husband

We are renting short-term, and the landlord absolutely forbids anything on the wall. I can’t have shelves that would organize things so well in the sewing room, and I can’t give up a lot of floor space. We have several bookshelves that are doing duty as a pantry because of the shallow (and few) cabinets in the kitchen. I don’t really want to buy more furniture, even used, so a comment by my husband inspired this sewing room makeover. “I could even use boxes as furniture for a while.” So I will.

inspired temporary storage of fabric

I have some plastic bins on the floor with various craft supplies that I can’t seem to live without, but never open the box to access. Anyway, I decided to tape together some of the boxes we have saved for the next big pack-and-move, and use them as fabric storage. All this is supposedly set aside for doll clothing and accessories. I keep going to thrift stores and stumbling onto fantastic sales so I come home with another bag full of tops, tablecloths, and fabric remnants that I just know I can turn into something absolutely cute for a doll.

I stacked the boxes in the corner, and it also inspired me to rearrange most of the rest of the room. I think I can walk through it again. Even though I resent using valuable sewing time to clean, fold, and reorganize, I know I’ll appreciate it the first chance I need something and can immediately put my hands on it.

A finish and some gadgets

My husband loves to support my sewing obsession. He saw these cool gadgets when we were out shopping, and surprised me with them for Christmas. Once I got used to how they work, I love them!

I used the rotary cutting machine to cut the strips and the bias tape maker to fold and press them. Once I got a rhythm, it was much faster than even rotary cutting on the mat, and pressing with my iron.

I used them to make binding for this star quilt, which is my first finish of the year for quilting. Baby shower today, so it’s done just in time. I finished the hand-stitching on the binding on Friday.

Here is a close-up look at the pieced binding. The tape maker machine didn’t much like the seams, but if I helped pull it through it worked okay.

The second time I used the gadgets was to cut and press the binding for this doll quilt. It all went much more quickly, and with very few seams in the binding I had it pressed in a jiffy.

Thriving on thrift

I’m seriously addicted to thrift stores, and I don’t want a cure.

I found a girl’s pink t-shirt for a quarter. I knew I would repurpose it for doll clothing. I wish I had a before picture, but here is the after:

  • one doll’s tank top
  • one knit ruffle scarf for dolls
  • one knit ruffle scarf for girls
  • two knit braided headbands for dolls

Just think what I could have made with a larger t-shirt! I also saved a bit of pink knit fabric to use later, and the sparkly M (for Missouri) to applique on something else.

This past weekend I found these two 18″ dolls at a thrift store, for a combined total of $6.50. I already cleaned the skin of both of them using lens cleaners for glasses. I figured (correctly) the alcohol would rid them of most of the smudges. I need to figure out something to use on the purple marker that wasn’t easily removed. The picture above is an almost-before picture of the dolls. I have to do something about their hair, and I’m going to use the ONE shoe as a pattern for making shoes for dolls.

Where has the month gone?

I’m finally feeling better, but this post isn’t about my health issues. I’ve found a few minutes here and there in which to sew, and I finally have something to show (you) for it.

crescent Santa tree skirt

crescent Santa tree skirt

Since the beard was the last thing I did, besides stitching down the various parts, and it was freehand and spontaneous, it took me a while to plan out the spontaneous part. Yes, I’m that much of a planner. The final part was to place the stars. The book suggested painting small wooden stars with gold paint, drilling two holes, and stitching them on like buttons. I chose to use 3 different colors of yellow and embroider them. I did few, so they didn’t overpower Santa, and none on the back side because it wouldn’t show.

doll quilt

doll quilt

I also worked on another doll quilt. This one used scraps from this wall quilt I made for signatures at a 50th wedding anniversary party.  I found 4 matching half-square triangles and arranged them as a pinwheel, then sewed the pinwheels together. This will go into the Etsy store for sale, and I plan to make more. I found a doll that could model the quilts for me, but still am lacking a bed for more polished-looking pictures. Of course, since the doll needed a nightgown, I made that for her, too.

I worked a bit on the circle quilt, but I’ve found that I’ve done too much unnecessary work. I will have a future tutorial to explain the shortcuts I’ve found. Since I have at least 3 more to complete, I don’t feel like I’ve learned these things too late.

3 projects going at once

I have several projects going right now, and three that I’m trying to work on through this long weekend.

santa tree skirtFirst, I had copied the pattern pieces for this Christmas tree skirt from a book, Deck the Halls. I currently can’t find the book, so I’m winging it when I have to. The background is blue felt, with Santa’s face curving around the circular edge. The directions say to use small wooden stars, paint them gold, drill a couple of holes and attach them as buttons for the stars in the night sky. I plan to use my home embroidery machine to embroider gold stars in the sky. This is an overdue wedding gift for a nephew who was recently married. I figure the gift isn’t late until Thanksgiving, and I plan to have it completed and sent well before then.

I also have circles. Lots of them.

I had cut these circles about a week ago for my friend’s quilts for her daughters. Instead of using her late husband’s jeans for these, since he didn’t have the numbers that 4 quilts would require, she had bought blue cotton fabric. I need to mark the squares, purchase and cut the batting, and start cutting the shirt fabric squares.

The other project I sewed on today was a doll quilt. I haven’t made one before, but I have the occasion to do so now. My stepson is marrying soon and will acquire a stepdaughter of his own. She’s only 4 and I look forward to meeting her. They are expecting a baby, and because the big sister will likely feel a little left out of things, I planned to make her some doll accessories.

I had bought some “quilter’s grid on point” and I couldn’t wait to use it. The amount I bought was the perfect size to cut into four pieces and each can be used for a doll quilt.

I used pink fabric and some of the floral bedsheet fabric I still have, and made 16-patch blocks. I broke up the blocks with solid blocks from the sheet fabric. I fused the blocks to the grid.

After I took this photo I realized the one-way direction of the white blocks would be going the wrong way. I found that I could peel each off, reposition, and press again. Good to know, I often have to adjust something as I go.

This is the back view of the grid. It is “grid on point” and would be very handy for stitching on a line, but I didn’t use it that way. I folded it between the blocks and sewed each direction. Incredibly fast and easy! I think I may love using this stuff.

I backed the quilt with white flannel, used low-loft batting scraps inside, and bound it with plain pink fabric.  I think Lamb Chop got very comfortable and I think my new step-step-granddaughter will enjoy it as well.